Call 0800 PLANTS to place a phone order with your local plant experts. Pickup or delivery.
Online orders now available for contactless deliveries. Please allow 5 days due to courier delays.
Click & Collect is temporarily unavailable at all stores due to high demand.

Grow Well Guides

Tomatoes

There is nothing quite like growing and eating your own tomatoes, and though they are annuals and will only last one year, they are fast-growing and easy-care.

Planting Calendar

Summer
Autumn
Winter
Spring

Tomatoes are best planted from mid September to early February.

Harvest In

60 - 85 Days

Tomatoes will be ready to harvest from 60 to 85 days.

Prepare

Position

Tomatoes need a warm, well-draining planting site with full sun (or at least 6 hours of sunlight daily). Keep tomatoes sheltered from the wind.

Soil

If the soil is heavy and wet, mix in Kings Pumice Sand and Gypsum Claybreaker to improve drainage. Add some nutrients before planting by digging in Kings Organic Compost and Kings Tomato Food. Tomatoes can also be planted in a large container or pot - so that more moisture can be retained, roots are given plenty of space and plants heavy with fruit can be supported. Use Tomato Mix in pots, which contains water storage granules and a slow release fertiliser for improved yield.

Plant

Tomatoes need three months of warm, frost-free weather for the fruit to mature and ripen. Tradition has it that tomatoes should be planted outdoors around Labour Weekend for best results, although with our warm climate in Auckland you can get a good crop from your plants if planted any time between early September to early February. If you are lucky enough to have a greenhouse, then the growing season can be extended from mid August to mid January. If planting grafted tomatoes, ensure that the graft is at least 1cm above the soil line.

Care

Watering

Water your plants regularly, which means watering once to twice a day at the peak of summer. Don’t water the leaves, only the soil. Sprinkle SaturAid around the base of your tomato plant to channel water down to the roots.

Feeding

Tomatoes are gross feeders. As soon as the plant begins to flower they should be fed once every two weeks with Kings Liquid Tomato Food. Using a specific tomato food is important as it is high in potassium/potash, that will encourage more flowering and fruiting.

Spraying

Because prevention is better than cure it is advisable to give your plants a copper spray early in the season to prevent common fungal problems such as blight.

Beginner Tip

Try using companion plants such as basil and marigolds, to improve fruit flavour and act as a natural deterrent.

Tip

Grafted tomatoes are plants have been grafted onto a rootstock which has been bred for its outstanding vigour and resilience. The rootstock has increased resistance to many of the wilt and fungal diseases that affect tomatoes. With increased vigorous growth comes more flowers and fruit - up to 3-5 times more fruit than a traditional, seed-grown tomato plant. The grafted tomato’s lateral side shoots do not need removal as the roots can supply the leaves, flower and fruit with the water and nutrients required to sustain them. When planting grafted tomatoes take into account that they are larger than ordinary tomato plants, and will need more space.

Top Varieties

Roma

Roma

An oval-shaped variety with low acidity, great for pastas and sauces.

Black Krim

Black Krim

An heirloom variety (so save those seeds!) with a beautiful, dark skin.

Beefsteak

Beefsteak

A variety which produces extra large fruit that are great for burgers and sandwiches.

Sweet 100

Sweet 100

Producing a large crop of small, sweet cherry tomatoes which are best eaten fresh.

Moneymaker

Moneymaker

Medium sized fruit, great flavour - similar to those sold in the supermarket.

Shop Tomatoes

What you need to Grow Well

Frequently Asked Questions